Many of us set out on a quest to conquer weight, smoking, or even procrastination. And often, after a few months of attempting to overcome our bad habits, or after a few ‘starts,’ we find ourselves stuck, discouraged or anxious. But it helps to remember that a start, is just that: a start. It is not the end. What matters most is that you begin wherever you are right now. If you fall back into old patterns, it’s simply another chance to start again. Every day, in fact, can be seen as another time we start again.
Here’s what I mean:
Thoughts lead to feelings.
Feelings influence behavior.
Behaviors determine outcomes.
Outcomes set belief systems.
Even as our bookstores become filled with medical, technological and psychological answers to what happens and how to manage the emotional aspects of our lives, the reality is change cannot be accomplished without action. And action means starting where you are right now, before you are perfect or even “ready.” And for many, this process requires a cycle of starts — holistically, abundantly, unapologetically.
Let’s start this journey to see you through.
Start looking inward. Even the best goals and plans are fast tracked for failure if they are not aligned with personal truths and values. Ask: Who am I? What matters to me most? Then, realign.
Start letting go. Replaying past disappointments and miscalculations reinforces blame, shame and guilt. These feelings fuel anger and fear. Holding on inevitably induces pain or paralysis. Own the lesson. Surrender the struggle.
Start deciding unapologetically. Perspective defined by others leads to a sense of powerlessness and helplessness. Decide: Only I own the rights to decide how I feel, no one else.
Start being present. Consciously containing judgment and reaction, especially during the toughest times, allows for a greater sense of meaning. This mindfulness reduces the physiological effects of stress, enhances the body’s efforts to heal, and awakens the infinite possibilities of the spirit.
Start affirming. Affirmations help to untangle the false belief systems that block the actualization of life’s fullest potential. Write or discover affirmations that speak to your heart and repeat them daily.
Start moving that BODY! Exercise, walking, stretching, even mindful chewing during mealtimes increases chemical reactions and electrical impulses that enhance a sense of well-being.
Lastly, start getting a check up… from the neck up. Clinical depression in women often disguises itself in the shadows of nervousness, irritability, physical complaints and aches. Dispel any stigma about seeking help and ask your health provider for a screening. Biological, psychological, behavioral and/or spiritual.
And remember: Life’s not a race. It’s a journey. Explore!